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July, 2010

Summer is in full swing and July 4th and the summer grilling season is upon us!

Grilled Vegetables
July 4th emphasizes the importance of family togetherness and is celebrated by families of all ethnic backgrounds coming together to enjoy a variety of foods. Here is a little history about this favorite summer holiday:

Independence Day in the United States is an annual holiday commemorating the formal adoption by the Continental Congress of the Declaration of Independence on July 4, 1776, in Philadelphia. On June 11, 1776, the colonies’ Second Continental Congress, meeting in Philadelphia, formed a committee with the one purpose of drafting a document that would formally sever their ties with Great Britain. The committee included Thomas Jefferson, Benjamin Franklin, John Adams, Roger Sherman and Robert R. Livingston. Jefferson, who was considered the strongest and most eloquent writer, wrote the document (nevertheless, a total of 86 changes were made to his draft!). Only one year later, July 4, 1777, Philadelphia marked Independence Day by adjourning Congress and celebrating with bonfires, bells and fireworks. The custom eventually spread to other towns both large and small, where the day was marked with processions, picnics, contests, games, military displays and fireworks. The final version was officially adopted by the Continental Congress on July 4, 1941 which is when it was declared a legal holiday. The Fourth is traditionally celebrated publicly with parades, pageants, and fireworks displays. Many cities have out-lawed fireworks, hoping for a “safe and sane” holiday, making public fireworks shows very popular. On the West Coast, beach picnics and bon fires are extremely popular and filled with red, white and blue! This year July 4th is Sunday – making a perfect weekend for barbecues, picnics and parties…all filled with a variety of foods and drinks, making it a great time to enjoy barbecue and picnic items like Veggi Dogs and White Pearl Onions. Don’t forget the fresh fruit to lace onto the kabobs for a delicious treat.

Grilled Vegetable Sandwiches
Summer grilling lasts until school starts! Don’t forget items such as Melissa's Veggie Sandwiches and our easy-to-prepare recipes for grilling. Try preparing vegetable skewers for steaks made with Organic Bell Peppers, Organic Potatoes and Organic Zucchini. Grilled whole fruit, such as Organic Peaches and Nectarines, also makes a delicious side dish or dessert. An all-time favorite are sweet potatoes or yams sprinkled with sugar and cinnamon. Delicious and even lower in fat then potato salad!

Try some cucumbers, a great side salad item, along with fresh Sugar Snap Peas, Jalapenos, Edamame and Dutch Yellow® Potatoes for potato salads. Don’t forget the fresh salsa for dips and toppings. Our new Salsa Casera is a great additive for many festive dishes.